Duane’s arm was much better this morning here at our home in the Del Norte mountains outside Alpine, TX. and we were both rested after our (second and last) long (7 hour) ride yesterday.
His decision to leave the bike inside until today was a good one. His arm gave him no trouble when he unloaded it this afternoon.
La Vista, perched just below the top of the mountain, lives up to its name—to a point. This is the view from our front door.
This is the view from the living room.
Strolling around under gorgeous blue skies we saw just how small this park is. There are 15 pull-thru slots. 14 of them are filled.
There are four buildings. The far right is the office. In the middle is a private residence and left is a shed.
The fourth building is this one for rvers’ use.
The two doors on the right lead to restroom/showers. I am standing in the very corner of this room. What you don’t see is a small table with two jigsaw puzzles, a collection of a dozen books, and a pile of magazines. There is also an armchair. Behind the wall with the sink is
the laundry—one washer, one dryer, small folding table.
The pastures around the park are home to many junipers, prickly pear, and cholla. This is the the biggest cholla we have ever seen—7 foot tall at least!
The shrubs and bushes are home to a variety of birds, singing in the spring in defiance of Puxatony Phil.
To continue resting Duane’s arm we had planned only to do laundry. Since the one in the park was busy we decided to head down the mountain
to Alpine, spread along the valley six miles below the campground.
Alpine, like most western towns was established as a stopping place for travelers. The abundance of water, grass, and firewood made it a popular camping spot. Caravans from Mexico to Missouri stopped here as well as gold seekers rushing to Sutters Mill in California. Fort Davis was established to protect railroad scouts and workers, and later, settlers and travelers. Like most early towns/cities, it burned and was rebuilt several times. Today is is a quiet city of 6000 people.
Unlike most western town, Alpine is home to a state university. Named for former Texas governor and Civil War Confederate General Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Sul Ross State University was established as a college in 1917 and became a university in 1969.
We took a little driving tour of the city while we were looking for the laundry. When we found it and that chore was done, we grabbed lunch and headed home.
In the evening, this place gets very quiet as the traffic on TX 118, the main road to the west gate of Big Bend National Park and to the east side of Big Bend State Park, dwindles to an occasional vehicle. It also gets very dark. At sunset last night we were treated to color on the mountain tops in the south and east,
and pink clouds in the west. The (almost) 1/2 moon was as bright as it were full. Tonight clouds have moved in obscuring any stars and showing the moon as a fuzzy white blur.
Tomorrow we ride. Come along with us.
Louise and Duane